- Gujarat - BJP wins 115 seats; Hat-trick for Modi; Cong wins 61 seats (6:50 p.m.)
- Himachal Pradesh- Congress gets absolute majority, wins 36 seats; BJP wins 26, others 4
Narendra Modi on Thursday performed a hat-trick retaining power for the third time in Gujarat and propelled himself as a strong contender in the Prime Ministerial race in 2014 while Congress ousted BJP from office in Himachal Pradesh.
The BJP registered its fifth consecutive victory in Gujarat, third under Mr. Modi, when it bagged 115 seats, two less than in the 2007 elections while Congress bagged two more to finish at 61.
The Nationalist Congress Party won two seats while Janata Dal-U one seat. The Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) led by Keshubhai Patel, which was widely predicted to damage the BJP’s fortunes, ended with a whimper winning only three seats.
Widely speculated as a strong contender in the BJP riven by squabbles as PM candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections, 62-year-old Mr. Modi dedicated his victory to the six crore Gujaratis and those all over the country pining for good governance and development.
The Chief Minister, who had consciously refused to apologise or express regret over the post-Godhra violence in the state in 2002 that claimed over 1,000 Muslim lives, today said he apologised to the six crore Gujaratis for “any mistake that may have occurred“.
Even by mistake, there should be no mistake in the future, he told his supporters in his 45-minute victory speech but gave no indications of his future political plans.
When they shouted, “PM, PM”, he said he would be making a visit to Delhi for a day on Dec 27 and whatever he was doing in Gujarat was the service to Mother India. “Neither will I stop, nor will I get tired as I have to fulfill your dreams”, he said.
While two BJP MPs Smriti Irani and Ram Jethmalani openly endorsed Mr. Modi as the next Prime Minister candidate but the party leaders steered clear of the issue.
Chief Spokesperson of BJP Ravi Shankar Prasad said Mr. Modi has always been an important leader in the party. “We are not a dynastic party, which is led by a Yuavaraj. We function in a pure democratic fashion,” he said.
Modi appears set for hat-trick
(1.23 p.m.) Narendra Modi wins by a huge margin from Maninagar as BJP bags all four seats declared so far and leads in 114 of State’s 182 constituencies, with the Chief Minister set to score a hat-trick. Mr. Modi trounced his nearest Congress rival Shweta Bhatt by a margin of 86,373 votes.
BJP bags Amraivadi, Mangrol and Karanj seats.
Main Opposition Congress is leading in 59 seats, while nominees of Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party are ahead in two, state election office sources say.
Besides, the NCP, Janta Dal(U) and an independent are leading in one constituency each.
Celebrations begin across the State with BJP workers smearing each others face with gulal and beating drums in the streets of Ahmedabad and elsewhere.
(10:09 a.m.) Modi tweets
"No need of looking behind, FORWARD! We want infinite energy, infinite courage, infinite patience..." Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi tweets on poll trends.
“Modi bhai has always been an important leader in the BJP... We are not a dynastic party which is led by a Yuvaraj. We function in a pure democratic fashion,” says BJP chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.
(10:37 a.m.) Minister Anandiben Patel is leading in Ghatlodia, while minister and state government spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas is trailing in Siddhpur.
Jagruti Pandya, wife of slain BJP leader, Haren Pandya, locked in a ‘revenge’ fight in Ellis Bridge seat, is trailing her BJP rival. Pandya’s family had blamed Modi for the murder of Haren Pandya, who was twice elected from the seat.
(11:20 a.m.) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is leading by 70,000 votes in Maninagar constituency against Shweta Bhatt. Modi has polled 94,646 votes while Shweta, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, has polled 24,095 votes so far after 12 rounds of counting, official sources say.
(11:25 a.m.) Narendra Modi, Amit Shah win
(12:25) Keshubhai Patel wins
Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) leader and former chief minister Keshubhai Patel has won from Visavadar constituency in Saurashtra region, officials say. Mr Patel won by about 20,000 votes against his nearest Bharatiya Janata Party rival Kanubhai Bhalala.
Congress set to win Himachal
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal says that he welcomes the decision of people. “Whatever people decide is good. It would be good if they support us, and good even if they don’t. I will welcome the decision of people,” he says.
(10:30 a.m.) Fortunes change for Congress in Himachal Pradesh, where it was initially projected as trailing the ruling BJP. Congress is leading in 37 seats while the BJP is ahead in 24 in the 68-memmber Assembly. Himachal has a 68-member Assembly in which BJP had won 43 seats in the last elections against Congress’ 16.